The time had come to move on. I knew the day would arrive eventually, but I was dragging my feet, so enamored was I with WordPress.com. I didn’t want to leave. I was comfortable at this blog home; I loved the happiness engineers and the ease of publicizing to Facebook and Twitter and the wonderful stats page. Things were simple and fluid, just the way I like them. But the fact remained that WordPress.com had become too small. It simply didn’t have a few key features that would allow me to grow my blog to the next level. So, reluctantly and with trepidation, I made the big migration to WordPress.org. And here I am.
The transition started smoothly enough. I imported, I exported, I changed my DNS nameserver. (Wow – did I really just write all of those words. Yes, I have learned a bit about computers through this blogging process. It’s all part of growing a new identity, really.) But then I got stuck. My blog disappeared. I couldn’t find it anywhere. Months of writing and documentation were apparently wiped out with a single click. I panicked. Where was my blog? I couldn’t go to sleep until I found it. I knew it had to be somewhere. But try as I might, it didn’t show up where it was supposed to be.
This next morning, after a fitful sleep, I searched the WordPress support forums and figured out my error. Problem number one solved. But once my blog appeared on WordPress.org, I realized that several other key features were missing. I knew that I would have to grieve the loss of my .com happiness engineers, but I wasn’t expecting to lose all my subscribers as well as the ease of publicizing to the social networking sites. I was fit to be tied. And as much I wanted to sit in front of my computer until I could resolve these issues, my kids needed me. It just so happened that all of this occurred during a particularly busy week where my husband’s work trumped my regular work slots. I wanted to freeze-frame my kids. I felt like I was going to explode.
Suffice to say, I was pretty much a pill all morning. If you’ve ever been stuck in computer or technological hell (Internet down right when you need it; computer crashing; entire documents erased; water spilled on dashboard), then you know the frame of mind I was in. I did take my kids swimming and managed to enjoy the water, but as soon as I got home I was back to the computer and practically begging Everest to babysit Asher. At some point, my Carrie called and I told her what was happening. In her clear and wise way she said, “This has nothing to do with your blog. You just don’t have space inside to manage this right now. You have to remember that you’ll figure everything out. It will take a few days but you”ll get it.”
Ahhhhh…. I could feel the space return. And from the spaciousness I realized that I was actually grieving the loss of WordPress.com. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I was missing the familiar platform that I’ve used for the past four months, missing the fluidity with which I could type, post, publish and move on. I was comfortable in my world of WordPress.com. And this is the key word that characterizes what happens when we move into the next stage of life, no matter how small or big the transition: we lose that which is familiar and we’re stretched beyond our comfort zone.
I’m in the liminal stage of my blogging lifestyle and identity: no longer at WordPress.com and not settled into WordPress.org yet. I don’t know what I’m doing; I’m unsettled; I’m disoriented. I miss the familiarity of the old blogging home. I have much to learn, and when I move past the fear and belief that I have to understand it all in one day, I can approach this learning curve with excitement.
And so it goes with life’s transitions: if we don’t move on when we’re called to move on, we don’t grow. As children, we grow whether we want to or not: the baby becomes the toddler, the little girl becomes the big girl, the big girl becomes the adolescent. But as adults, we choose whether or not we heed the call to enter the next stage. When we hear that calling – for a new job, a new city, a new relationship – we can either respond from the fear voice that says it’s too scary to leave the known and leap into the unknown – or we can acknowledge the fear but not allow it to sit in the driver’s seat, thereby saying yes to the calling, yes to the grief of letting go, yes to the new life and the layers of growth that await us there.